Court: USW Carey Salt Strikers Must be Re-hired with Back Pay

Decision Upholds NLRB Ruling That Company Broke Labor Law

Contact: J.M. “Mickey” Breaux, (832) 556-0370, mbreaux@usw.org

COTE BLANCHE, LA. (November 21) — A federal appeals court today substantially upheld a 2012 ruling that Carey Salt violated federal labor law numerous times during its negotiations with United Steelworkers (USW) Local 14425 at the company’s mine in Cote Blanche, La.

The Fifth Circuit U.S. Appeals Court ruling enforces a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision in the union’s favor in September 2012 that ordered Carey Salt to reinstate striking workers and repay them for losses they suffered due to the company’s illegal conduct.

“This ruling sends a strong message, not just to Carey Salt, but to any company that violates federal labor law, that this behavior will not be tolerated and that they will have to pay the price,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “The decision is a victory for all workers.”

Local 14425 represents about 100 Carey Salt workers. The workers went on strike in the spring of 2010 to protest the company’s unfair labor practices (ULP), including its failure to bargain in good faith and unilateral implementation of new procedures.

Other violations upheld by the court included Carey implementing a final offer without reaching impasse, threatening to permanently replace ULP strikers, failing to reinstate strikers promptly upon their offer to return, and changing seniority-based recall procedures when it recalled strikers.

USW Local 14425 eventually reached a new three-year contract agreement with Carey Salt in February, but that settlement did not resolve the outstanding NLRB issues.

The USW is the largest industrial union in North America, representing workers in a range of industries including metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, oil refining, health care, security, hotels, and municipal governments and agencies.

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